There were extensive debates in the judges’ room, as this year’s competition was extremely close. Throughout the two-day event the judges were not only looking for the most successful robot, but more importantly the team that demonstrated gracious professionalism, outreach, innovation, unique design, the engineering process, and spirit. There are awards given by the judges to the teams that exceed in these areas. The team that is top in all of the categories is awarded the Inspire Award.
This year’s top honors—The Inspire Award—went to Team 3550, Beta, from West Des Moines Schools in Iowa. As this year’s Inspire Award winners, Team 3550 will also advance to the World Championships in St. Louis. The runner’s up were Team 4150, Dark Matter, from Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, and Team 5202, Try to Understand, a 4-H team from Decatur, Illinois.